Rudolf Kempe

Richard Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen [Box Set]

  • AllMusic Rating
    7
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

This 1957 Covent Garden Der Ring des Nibelungen led by Rudolf Kempe is a very fine, at times even great, cycle. The cast features the masterful Hans Hotter as Wotan, the heroic Wolfgang Windgassen as Siegfried, and the magnificent Birgit Nilsson as Brünnhilde. A favorite with London audiences and musicians, German conductor Kempe coaxes the best possible playing out of the orchestra, making the most out of the tetralogy's moments of high drama without letting the music lose tension in its extended passages of exposition. Taken on only its own merits, this Ring has much going for it. The end of Das Rheingold is tremendously thrilling; the big climaxes between Siegmund and Sieglinda in Act I of Die Walküre and between Siegfried and Brünnhilde in Act III of Siegfried are both amazingly exhilarating; the sense of momentum in the last two acts of Götterdämmerung is truly involving. Compared to the other great Rings of the '50s -- the 1950 and 1953 Furtwängler, the 1953 Krauss, and the 1956 Knappertsbusch cycles -- Kempe's Ring comes off as dramatically and musically persuasive but nowhere near as overwhelmingly compelling. For dedicated and determined Wagnerians, this 13-disc set may be mandatory listening, but for novice Nibelungens, the Solti Ring remains the best combination of blazing performance and staggering sound.

Track Listing - Disc 7

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Siegfried, opera, WWV 86c
1 03:34
2 04:13
3 01:41
4 02:16
5 01:24
6 07:52
7 05:20
8 01:24
9 01:43
10 03:44
11 10:22
12 07:26
13 02:59
14 01:03
15 00:27
16 02:56
17 05:02
18 03:15
19 07:42
20 05:57

Track Listing - Disc 13

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Die Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods), opera, WWV 86d
1 03:12
2 03:55
3 00:37
4 01:08
5 02:51
6 07:05
7 02:17
8 03:51
9 02:22
10 04:52
11 02:51
12 02:05
13 05:34
14 05:41
15 02:42
16 01:57
17 02:48
18 03:13
19 02:17
20 01:58
21 03:25
22 02:08
23 01:19
24 06:26
blue highlight denotes track pick